There are many pros and cons to both chlorine and saltwater pools, and for some people choosing between the two can be a difficult decision. Ultimately, it’s about which works best for you and your family. Here are some insights into the differences between the two, to help you make the best decision.
Saltwater Pools: Saltwater pools use dissolved salt in the water to generate chlorine. The saltwater chlorine generator creates a process called electrolysis to break down or separate the sale, also known as sodium chloride or NaCl. The chemical reaction created by the process produces chlorine in the form of sodium hypochlorite and hypochlorous acid, meaning a saltwater pool is not chlorine free, it just uses a chlorine generator instead of liquid chlorine, often used in traditional pools.
Chlorine Pools: Chlorine pools use a liquid or granule chlorine solution that you pour into the water. The solution then breaks down into multiple chemicals that kill microorganisms and bacteria. Once the chemicals are done cleaning the pool, they either combine with other chemicals or are broken down into single atoms, either way, rendering the chlorine harmless. Sunlight speeds up the process, and chlorine must be added more often.
Gentle on the Skin: Saltwater pools are known to be gentler on the skin than chlorine. Fewer individuals have reported irritation from saltwater and it tends to not have quite as an abrasive feel that chlorine does when it touches the skin. Although saltwater pools are not completely chlorine free, they are only about a tenth of the salinity of the ocean. This means saltwater pools don’t leave you with a salty feeling when you get out of the water nor does it have the taste ocean water does if it gets in your mouth. In fact, saltwater pools have approximately the same amount of salt as the human tear. This low salt level makes it easy for kids to open their eyes under water and not experience pain.
Maintenance: Saltwater swimming pools tend to have a higher up-front cost because there is a large amount of salt needed to get the pool’s chemical levels ready for swimming. Once you achieve the correct balance, less salt is needed, overtime, to maintain the correct chlorine levels than traditional chlorine solutions. However, the permanent presence of saltwater can cause damage to pool toys, over time. To avoid this problem, when you’re done in the pool for the day remove all of the pool toys from the water. You can wipe them off or let them air dry as well.
Having your own pool is a great source of entertainment and joy in the home, and with the introduction of saltwater chlorination systems there are now more options for maintaining the cleanliness of your home pool. There are both benefits and drawbacks to chlorine and saltwater pools, but depending on your own individual needs, one might be better for your lifestyle than the other.